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GREAT WHITE WAY TO EMU PARK

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NicoleJerelen's loves15 of 171COBURG DRESDEN PORCELAIN MUSICIANWARATAH'S (sic) AND FLANNEL FLOWERS c.1914
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    Posted 8 years ago

    vetraio50
    (726 items)

    This is one of two postcards that were sent to Maude Lankester around 1920 by an Australian visitor to New York City. Both cards record the visitor's impressions of a vibrant, modern city so different to what they knew in far off Australia. Both of the cards are 'artist's impressions' of the city and in this case it is New York by night. This card is numbered "N.Y. 204". It has not been franked, but has been used to make a note to Maude:

    (The phrase Great White Way has been attributed to Shep Friedman, columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph in 1901, who lifted the term from the title of a book about the Arctic by Albert Paine.)

    "The Great White Way", New York City.

    "Broadway at night, from about 33rd Street to Times Square, is generally known as “The Great White Way”. Brilliantly lighted display windows and the numerous electric signs brighten up this thoroughfare at night. This is the most fashionable hotel and theatre district, and in the evening it is crowded with playgoers and other pleasure seekers, who patronize the restaurants and cabarets.

    N.Y. 204"

    Dear Miss Lankester
    I am sending you just a few postcards of the buildings of this wonderful city of New York. This one gives you but a faint idea of the lights in the Broadway of a usual night about 10.30 pm. They are great in advertising especially using the electrical light for this purpose.

    The handwriting is the same on both cards. The other card is signed, I believe, GLWinchester(?).

    The card is not dated, so details on the card were important to look at as I tried to put my collection of 110 odd postcards back into some kind of order.

    Great learning vehicle, too!
    Two details on this card struck me: Fatima and American Vitagraph.

    The artist has picked up on two bright signs at the "Great White Way": Fatima cigarettes and rather than the theatres of Broadway it is the lights of the Vitagraph cinema that brighten up the night.

    Fatima cigarettes were a Turkish Blend made by Leggett & Myers Tobacco Co. Their advertising included statements like these in those days:
    "Fatima of course it's a Fatima, nothing else will do, 20 for 25c. But taste the difference."

    "A sensible cigarette."

    "Quality that makes friends everywhere."

    ""Ace High" with the younger crowd."
    "What a whale of a difference just a few seconds / inches make
    And what a whale of a difference just a few cents make."

    and

    "American Vitagraph was a United States movie studio, founded by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith in 1897 in Brooklyn, New York. By 1907 it was the most prolific American film production company, producing many famous silent films. It was bought by Warner Bros. in 1925."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitagraph_Studios

    The Vitagraph reference dates the art work, in a way. It is after 1904 when Vitagraph took over the Criterion Theatre for New York's first movie palace. It also puts it earlier than 1916 when it reverted to a theatre and resumed the name of the Criterion.

    But I was a bit lost about the location here.

    Thanks to mustangtony I now know that it is Times Square.

    I can now fill in some of the "illegibles"!
    Loews N.Y. Theatre to the right. More movies?
    As mustangT says there are hotels left and right:
    The Astor and the Claridge.

    And now I have found another card with some details!
    "1910s TIMES SQUARE Blurry Litho Misrpint Vitagraph FATIMA Cigarettes NYC New york city postcard"

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    Comments

    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      I thought I would add this link to the other card:
      http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/83824-new-york-terminal-city--emu-park?in=user

    2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks, Sean B!
    3. pops52 pops52, 8 years ago
      Really nice!
    4. Plaintosee Plaintosee, 8 years ago
      Precious!
    5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks pops52!
    6. nldionne nldionne, 8 years ago
      I was in this exact spot , like the post card better.
    7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks Plaintosee, musikchoo, nldionne and hedgewalker, too!
    8. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Thanks yet again mustangT.
      I've got more details now.
      I found another of the same card here:
      http://www.flickriver.com/photos/christianmontone/tags/theatredistrict/

      It's described as:
      "1910s TIMES SQUARE Blurry Litho Misrpint Vitagraph FATIMA Cigarettes NYC New york city postcard".

      Misprint?
      I've seen his card and he describes it as 'blurry'. It is a bit off centre at the edges. Mine looks to be spot on.
    9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Some more info here about the Criterion Theatre, which Vitagraph took over:

      "Broadway’s first Criterion Theatre was originally called the Lyric Theatre, opening in 1895 as part of Oscar Hammerstein’s block-wide entertainment complex, the Olympia (see the listing here for Loew’s New York for more details). The Lyric Theatre was decorated in Louis XVI-style and had about 1,700 seats, many in five tiers of boxes that flanked both sides of the stage. In 1898, Hammerstein’s numerous creditors forced him to sell the Olympia at an auction in which the components were sold separately.

      Stage producer Charles Frohman took over the Lyric Theatre and re-named it the Criterion Theatre in honor of the famous playhouse in London’s Piccadilly Circus. The ex-Lyric’s seating capacity was substantially reduced to about 900 by removing many of the boxes. In 1914, the Criterion Theatre became one of Broadway’s first “movie palaces” when the Vitagraph Company took over and turned it into a self-named showcase for its major releases. The Vitagraph Theatre opened on February 7th, 1914, with the Vitagraph feature “A Million Dollar Bid” and some Vitagraph short subjects. Music was provided by a Wurlitzer organ capable of sounding like a full orchestra. Although the Vitagraph Theatre proved successful, rival exhibitors were outraged by a producer-distributor operating its own theatre and began to boycott Vitagraph product.

      When its lease came up for renewal in 1916, Vitagraph gave in to the pressure and withdrew from the theatre, which was returned to the “legit” fold under its previous name of Criterion Theatre."

      http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/16481
    10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      In 1911 Fatima was the "Leading National Brand: Fatima, (first popular brand to be sold in 20-unit packs; 15 cents) from Liggett & Myers, a Turkish/domestic blend. Most popular in Eastern urban areas. )".
      Liggett & Myers had 28% of the US market in those days.
    11. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks czechman and blunderbuss2 too!
    12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks petey!
    13. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks to the Moirs and toracat, too!
    14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks Alfredo!
    15. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks musikchoo and walksoftly too!
    16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks scottvez!
    17. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks AmberRose!
    18. pops52 pops52, 8 years ago
      Really like these old postcards.
    19. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks pops52. There are some really nice ones coming!
    20. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 8 years ago
      Love, love this one!! Captures NY beautifully - the city that never sleeps! : )
    21. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks miKKo and mark!

    22. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks Dinoman!
    23. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks musikchoo!
    24. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks inky!
    25. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks NICOLEJERELEN!
    26. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks AGHCOLLECT!
    27. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks NUTSABOTAS 'n BELLIN too!
    28. vetraio50 vetraio50, 25 days ago
      Many thanks NEWFLD !!!!!

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